Youth Forward Scholarship Winter 2017 – Brighter Because of It

Name: Rachel Vance
From: Murray, UT
Grade: 12
School: Murray High School
Votes: 0

Growing
up, my mother raised my siblings and I to be hard workers and serve
others. This meant that every snowfall my siblings and I would not
only shovel our driveway but, shovel the driveway of our neighbor
across the street, too. I hated doing it. Honest. I didn’t know the
lady in the house and to this day I don’t know if she noticed our
actions or whether or not she was grateful. No one noticed my actions
or gave me accolades for my service, and now, I am so grateful they
didn’t because it taught me not to seek after the attention of
others but it led to a desire to help others for nothing other than
the fact that they needed help.

Every
Friday I volunteer at my local children’s Hospital and I have
little to no idea of what to expect each time I come in. I don’t
know whether my heart will be lifted as I see a 5 year old recovering
cancer patient laugh so hard over playdough or whether it will be
crushed as a 2 month old grasps my finger after an intensive surgery.
I’ve seen so many amazing kids overcome dealing diseases with a
beaming smile the entire time. I’ve held babies that didn’t have
families waiting for it at home. And I’ve watched moms and dads
hold on to so much hope. I don’t know most of the stories of the
patients I meet, but distracting them every Friday, is the highlight
of my week.

Last
summer, I spent a week as a camp counselor at a diabetic camp. It was
the same camp my mother went to as a child when she was diagnosed
with type 1 diabetes. I spent the week being a mother and caregiver
to 9 beautiful 11 year old girls who both drove me crazy and kept me
from insanity. I was with them every hour of the day for the entire
week. That meant tracking all of their carbs every meal, rallying
them up for crafts, and waking up in the middle of the night to check
their blood sugar. I learnt so much about the disease that my mother
and so many other people endure every day.

Service
is not complex projects, grand gestures, or a means to receive
accolades. It is a means to lend a helping hand and become a better
person for doing so. These stories of service are special to me
because I’ve seen myself grow into a happier and brighter person
because of my work. Helping others is something I love to do because
it makes me believe that my sacrifice of time, energy, or money could
actually change something. It allows me to do something larger than
myself and creates a incomparable joy in my heart. But more than any
of this, it gives me hope for a better humanity that will one day
serve me as well.


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